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The Pennsylvania Code website reflects the Pennsylvania Code changes effective through 54 Pa.B. 1806 (March 30, 2024).

225 Pa. Code Rule 402. General Admissibility of Relevant Evidence.

Rule 402. General Admissibility of Relevant Evidence.

 All relevant evidence is admissible, except as otherwise provided by law. Evidence that is not relevant is not admissible.


   Pa.R.E. 402 differs from F.R.E. 402. The Federal Rule specifically enumerates the various sources of federal rule-making power. Pa.R.E. 402 substitutes the phrase ‘‘by law’’.

   Pa.R.E. 402 states a fundamental concept of the law of evidence. Relevant evidence is admissible; evidence that is not relevant is not admissible. This concept is modified by the exceptions clause of the rule, which states another fundamental principle of evidentiary law—relevant evidence may be excluded by operation of constitutional law, by statute, by these rules, by other rules promulgated by the Supreme Court or by rules of evidence created by case law.

   Examples of decisionally created rules of exclusion that are not abrogated by the adoption of these rules include: the corpus delicti rule, Commonwealth v. Ware, 459 Pa. 334, 329 A.2d 258 (1974); the collateral source rule, see Boudwin v. Yellow Cab Co., 410 Pa. 31, 188 A.2d 259 (1963); the parol evidence rule, see Yocca v. Pittsburgh Steelers Sports, Inc., 578 Pa. 479, 854 A.2d 425 (2004); and the rule excluding certain evidence to rebut the presumption of legitimacy, see John M. v. Paula T., 524 Pa. 306, 571 A.2d 1380 (1990).

   Official Note

   Adopted May 8, 1998, effective October 1, 1998; rescinded and replaced January 17, 2013, effective March 18, 2013.

   Committee Explanatory Reports:

   Final Report explaining the January 17, 2013 rescission and replacement published with the Court’s Order at 43 Pa.B. 651 (February 2, 2013).


   The provisions of this Rule 402 rescinded and replaced January 17, 2013, effective in sixty days, 43 Pa.B. 620. Immediately preceding text appears at serial pages (317753) to (317754).

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